simplicity

Simple Summer Bucket List

 

With so much happening in May, the end of preschool and the beginning of homeschool for our family, this summer seems like a great time to slow down and focus on simplicity, enjoying life right now just as it is. I asked our oldest son to help me put together a summer bucket lis focused on the simple things he loves to do!

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SIMPLE SUMMER BUCKET LIST:
+ Play at the pool with friends
+ Stay up late and look at the moon and stars with our telescope
+ Lay on a blanket outside at night and look at the stars
+ Chase fireflies in the backyard
+ Make homemade strawberry ice cream
+ Go to the beach!
+ Run through the octopus sprinkler with friends (ours was a gift, but this looks neat!)
+ Pick blackberries and make jam
+ Finish our Summer Brain Quest book and start the next one!
+ Go on our annual family reunion in North Georgia (the waterslide is a favorite!)
+ Start a bi-weekly dinner club with some local friends + their little ones

We will add to it as we go if we think of other things as well. What is on your summer bucket list??

 

Simplifying for the Summer

 
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This year our calendar was completely full the first two weeks of May - things to attend, gifts to prepare, family functions to organize. It was a beautifully sweet time, but it left us feeling a bit frazzled and solidified my desire to ensure that our life doesn’t maintain such a pace. As a family we want to make sure we are moving at a slower pace, enjoying the little things in life and not rushing through our days, and with homeschool and extracurriculars just around the corner, it seems important to emphasize this now. We want an ‘old fashioned’ childhood for our little ones - bare feet in the grass, leaf piles for jumping, summer days with sprinklers. So I put together a list of areas to really focus on simplifying over the summer.

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SIMPLE ACTIVITIES:

We want our kids to be excited about little things like leaf piles in the fall and sprinklers in the summer! Though that doesn’t mean that we won’t throw in a family beach trip!

+ Early summer camping - before it gets too hot! We love heading up to the Nantahala river and playing in the stream.
+ Backyard pool days - we have this pool sitting between our raised garden beds and recently thrifted a big slide to up the fun!
+ Family walks and bike rides on the local trails
+ Dinner on the back porch - Friday nights are family night, and during the colder months we build a fire and watch a movie. For the summer we’ve decided to take family night outdoors! I’m envisioning grilling, dinner on the patio, solar twinkle lights and kicking around the soccer ball.
+ Star gazing - One of our favorite things about our annual trip to Grayson Highlands is all the beautiful stars! We’re bringing the feel of the mountains to the backyard with later bedtimes, blankets on the hill and peeking through our thrifted telescope.

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SIMPLE RECIPES:

I want to focus on recipes with just a few ingredients and utilize all the wonderful summer produce from our garden and local CSA!
+ This simple strawberry crumble is a huge hit, easily comes together and is perfect for using all the summer berries (or peaches)! Our blackberry and blueberry bushes are full this year, so we will be trying this out with our backyard haul!
+ This lemon chicken salad is a staple in our house and is perfect for summer picnics! We love it with gluten-free crackers, homemade tapioca bread (recipe coming soon!) or with sliced avocado.
+ Canning our summer tomatoes (full post to come!)
+ Five ingredient salads - I will share these as we go!

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PHYSICALLY DECLUTTER + SIMPLIFY:

+ Playroom - I’m planning a major clean and purge for our playroom this summer! There is a local consignment sale in September, so toys will either be donated or saved for the sale.
+ Homeschool area - Since we are beginning kindergarten homeschool soon, I want to carve out a little space in our dining room for us to use. We have a sideboard in there that we’ll clean and tidy to have some space for organizing any school items.
+ Boys’ closets - At the end of every season I go through the boys’ clothes and donate or store any items that not longer fit. I also want to take inventory of what we have for the fall/winter to keep their wardrobes as simple as possible!

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I’d love for you to join me! I’ll also be sharing over on Instagram (with plenty behind the scenes in stories!), and I’d love for you to join me! Let’s focus on simple, chase slow and live the little things together!

 

Last Minute Gifts That Spark Joy!

I mentioned in our last post that we take gift giving pretty seriously around here... basically I LOVE seeking out the perfect thing that someone will love, ideally supporting a small business and not getting too caught up in the 'buy everything' feeling that often comes this time of year. Whether you're giving a little something special to your neighbor or looking for the perfect thing for your spouse, here are a few of my favorite things that spark joy (and will arrive before Christmas)!

 
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+ For the cook: An Instant pot and a great cookbook. I love cookbooks and cooking out of pen and paper books! Some favorites: My New Roots (plant-based), It's All Good or It's All Easy by my girl Gwyneth Paltrow, Against All Grain or anything by Danielle Walker,  and Whole 30 Fast & Easy
+ For her: A copy of Hello Glow + a cozy pair of slippers 
+ For a friend, neighbor, sister: A pretty journal and a good book. Maybe Present Over Perfect or anything by Shauna Niequist, Chasing Slow by Erin Loechener, or Cultivate by Lara Casey
+ For him: a pair of work gloves with touch screen fingertips
+ For the coffee lover: a coffee subscription + a Chemex or French Press
+ For her: a subscription to the Magnolia Journal + fun coffee mugs for curling up to read with a mug of tea or coffee
+ For the wine connoisseur: A subscription to Winc  + pretty wine glasses (I also love these for a more casual style) to share (or not!)

Share any of your favorites in the comments. I love reading them! Happy gift giving + Merry Christmas!! 

Thoughts on Capsule Wardrobing

My husband and I have been talking a lot about what we want our life to look like in five years, and our common theme is simplicity. We want our life to be about the people, the places, the adventures. We still want a small house to call home with nice, but simple things, and only the necessities. Since we aren't moving any time soon, we have started to minimize what we currently have. Whether that means hosting a garage sale to rid our living room of unnecessary side tables or packing up E's baby clothes for consignment, we have been on quite the minimizing streak. 

One place that I knew I wanted to overhaul was my closet. It's no secret that I love the idea of a minimalist wardrobe since this series is one that I read repeatedly, but I was a little torn between minimalism and my love of style. Enter Caroline and the idea of the capsule wardrobing.

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For me that means:
+ 40 pieces of clothing, including shoes and my work wardrobe, not including accessories like scarves and hats
+ No shopping until the end of September (I started in August)
+ Purchasing only a few, curated pieces for my winter wardrobe (you can see my inspiration board here, and I'll post my list soon!) ONLY using a set budget
+ Learning to simply use what I have, be creative with what I have, and spend less time, energy and money worrying about clothing all while feeling comfortable and confident in my own skin.

My personal style needs a little love, but I don't want to just buy things at whim. I want a wardrobe that is functional for my lifestyle, comfortable and still stylish and reflective of my personality. So here's to the experiment and the learning experience.

What are your thoughts on capsule wardrobes?